2.12.19: Slouching Towards Nirvana

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“Hey, they forgot to wind the sundial.”
–Jim Stark, “Rebel Without A Cause”

Actor Sal Mineo died on this day of a stab wound to the heart in 1976. He is best known for co-starring in the 1955 classic movie Rebel Without A Cause—a movie that some people believe was “cursed,” as all 3 of its young stars died at unnaturally young ages.

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Sal Mineo, James Dean, and Natalie Wood

Rebel Without A Cause’s star, James Dean, died at the tender age of 24 in a car accident (or DID he?). Mineo passed at 37, and of course Natalie Wood died at 43 of being married to Robert Wagner.

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Nick Adams

We can also consider the sad fate of another of the movie’s actors, Nick Adams. Adams was one of the men considered to “inherit” Dean’s “rebel” title after the latter’s death—in fact, Adams starred in a TV show literally called The Rebel. Like Mineo and Dean, Adams was the subject of dogged rumors concerning his alleged bisexuality; unlike Mineo (who was relatively open about his sexual preferences) and Dean (who was allegedly dead before anything really stuck), Adams was particularly hounded by this gossip campaign. He slipped from stardom in 1959’s The Rebel to doing Godzilla movies for Toho and an Outer Limits episode in the 1960s. In ’68 he was dead of a drug overdose at the age of 36.

Can we really say that there was a Rebel Without A Cause curse? Or is there just an overall Hollywood curse?

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It was reported today that Reddit users are the least “valuable” of any other major social network—at least in terms of potential ad dollars. Allegedly the site has about 330 million monthly active users and a revenue of around $100 million…allowing them to generate a whopping $0.30 per user. Compare to Twitter at $9.48 per user, and Facebook at $7.37.

This is not all to say that Reddit sucks—in fact, I read Reddit every day. But rather, that if we consider that Chinese censorship giant Tencent just struck a funding deal with Reddit, and how obviously Reddit’s owners doesn’t feel they are generating enough revenue with the platform…I mean, the writing is kind of on the wall here, isn’t it?

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I believe I have brought up the concept of the Post-Information Age on this blog before. It is something I came up with (though certainly larger minds than me have also come up with it) riffing off of Alvin Toffler’s model of the development of human culture:

The First Wave: the rise of agriculture
The Second Wave: the Industrial Revolution
The Third Wave: The Computer Age a.k.a. the Information Age

And it is my belief that we are now entering the Post-Information Age…where the great explosion of ideas, communication, and data exchange due to the rise of the Internet gets SQUASHED & replaced with censorship and ultra-monetization.

Am I wrong?

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Along these lines, I’m probably shuttering my entertainment website, Fantasy Merchant, and shifting back over selected bits of such content back over to here. Part of the reason I am doing so is as follows:

Times are SO tough for online media, in terms of making an honest buck, that you can only really succeed if you do one of two things:

a) Make yourself completely beholden to the Entertainment Machine, in order to the materials you need (as well as co-sponsorship $s) from studios and publishers to push the latest mass market things and get all the eyeballs.

b) Be a flaming vanguard of extremism and either go full-out political or gossip rag or Howard Stern or some other gimmick to shit-stir and go viral.

I feel I fit into neither category, though simply by virtue of mentioning some “fringe” themes at all on this site, some might say I am slouching towards the latter by default.

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I would like to leave you on this Tuesday with a rather extraordinary music video by The Claypool Lennon Delirium, “Blood and Rockets – Movement I, Saga of Jack Parsons – Movement II, Too the Moon.” This is collage animation of the life of Parsons set to music that sounds pretty much exactly like John Lennon (due probably to the fact that his own son is the lead vocalist).

Considering the symbology in the (NSFW) video, they certainly (as Jordan Maxwell might say) did their homework.

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